“City of Hope treated me as a person. I wasn’t just a patient, a chart. I mattered.” – Kommah, breast cancer survivor
If you have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, or you've been told you may be at high risk of developing it, talk to the specialists at City of Hope. Our integrated team of professionals will guide you and your loved ones through each step of the journey, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and survivorship.
We will answer your questions, calm your concerns and design a personalized treatment plan to give you the best possible outcome.
Request a Consultation
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, are at a high risk for developing breast cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, you may request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-4673 (HOPE). Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.
City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat breast cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.
Breast Cancer Research
Living with Breast Cancer
“City of Hope saved me. They saved my baby. They saved my family portrait.” – Stephanie, breast cancer survivor
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your loved ones take each step during and after your breast cancer treatment.
We can help with all of the following concerns, and more:
For more information about the supportive care programs we offer, please contact the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at 626-218-2273 (CARE) or the Women’s Center at 800-934-5555
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For breast cancer survivor Kommah McDowell, a second opinion at City of Hope made all the difference for her and her family…
Don sports his pink City of Hope breast cancer awareness pin wherever he goes – spreading the message of early detection as he enlists new recruits in his personal war on cancer.
“You deserve a doctor you feel confident in and who you believe is invested in your care. That’s why I chose Dr. Somlo and City of Hope.”
“City of Hope saved me. They saved my baby. They saved my family portrait.”
“City of Hope provides cutting edge, compassionate treatment with a team approach where the patient and her family are at the center of the team.” – Joanne Mortimer, M.D., Director, Women’s Cancers Program
Your breast cancer is every bit as unique as you are, and that is why breast cancer treatment at City of Hope is focused around you and your loved ones.
This means our physicians will personally consult with you about your disease, treatment options and desired outcomes. Afterward, our multidisciplinary team of specialists will work together to discuss, design and deliver an individual treatment plan to best meet those goals.
The innovative treatments we use to treat breast cancer include:
“Not only do I help women take care of their breast cancer, but I also try to make it look like no one has been there.” – Laura Kruper, M.D., M.S., Chief, Breast Surgery Service
Surgery is a common treatment option for most breast cancer patients. Depending on the tumor’s size, location and spread, the procedure performed may be a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor, surrounding breast tissue and possibly nearby lymph nodes) or a mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts, along with nearby lymph nodes). Mastectomies may also be performed as a risk reduction procedure for women with a high risk of developing breast cancer.
City of Hope offers the latest advances in surgical approaches to treating breast cancer. Our leading-edge technology and our surgeons’ expertise means you can achieve outstanding outcomes that are not possible elsewhere. This includes breast cancer surgeries with fewer and smaller incisions, reducing discomfort and recovery time. Our minimally-invasive approach also allows patients to be treated sooner with post-surgery treatments, such as follow-up radiation and drug therapy.
Our team is also experienced in breast-conserving surgery, which can remove early stage tumors while achieving excellent cosmetic outcomes. This procedure can be done with larger tumors as well, by shrinking the tumor with chemotherapy before the surgery.
For more extensive procedures, our breast surgeons will work in conjunction with our plastic surgery team. This includes combining skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomies with breast reconstruction in one operation, preserving or restoring breast appearance without compromising health outcomes.
Our plastic surgery team can also offer reconstruction options – with either breast implants or your own tissue – to a wide range of breast cancer patients. These include:
For patients who have a high risk of developing breast cancer, these appearance-preserving or appearance-restoring techniques may also be used after risk reduction surgeries.
Tissue-sparing surgery combines tumor removal with breast reconstruction
Many patients unaware that breast cancer reconstruction is an option
Nipple-sparing mastectomies and the rising rate of bilateral mastectomies (w/PODCAST)
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be delivered externally using focused beams of energy, or internally, placing an energy emitting substance in or near the tumor site at the time of surgery.
City of Hope is a leader in image-driven radiation planning, using computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to determine tumor size and location. This ensures radiation is accurately delivered to the tumor site, while minimizing exposure to nearby normal tissues.
In addition to standard radiation therapy, which takes place daily over six or seven weeks, patients may also be eligible for hypofractionated radiotherapy – which delivers a higher dose of radiation in a shorter amount of time (four weeks), allowing patients to make fewer visits for treatment and recover faster.
Select breast cancer patients may also be eligible for intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), which delivers high dose radiation treatment at the time of their breast cancer surgery. This procedure allows patients to skip the usual six-week cycle of radiation following lumpectomy, and may reduce radiation exposure to normal breast tissue.
Drug therapy may be given to patients to fight breast cancer cells throughout the body by killing the cancer cells or stopping their growth and spread. These drugs include:
Drugs may also be prescribed to treat conditions related to breast cancer, such as minimizing bone loss and fracture risk if the cancer has spread to the bones.
The drug or drug combination used depends on the type and stage of breast cancer, previous treatments used, the patient’s health and overall treatment goals. This personalized medicine approach may be further enhanced by molecular or genetic testing of your cancer, which can help identify treatments that are more effective and with fewer side effects.
City of Hope has a wide portfolio of cancer-fighting drugs available in its on-site pharmacy, allowing our medical oncologists to plan and prescribe a drug regimen that can best fight breast cancer while minimizing side effects.
In addition to standard drug treatments, patients may also be eligible for new, promising drugs through our clinical trials program.
Approximately two-thirds of breast cancers are reliant on the hormones, such as estrogen and/or progesterone to fuel their growth and spread, so drugs that decrease endocrine production can help slow or halt the disease. It is most often used as an adjuvant therapy (given after surgery) to reduce likelihood of cancer recurrence, but may be used in other settings as well.
In addition to standard endocrine therapy treatments, City of Hope patients have access to promising endocrine therapies through our clinical trials program. These innovative therapies may be better at treating endocrine-sensitive breast cancer and/or reduce side effects associated with endocrine therapy.
Hormonal drugs show promise in preventing early breast cancer’s return [[Change blog title to endocrine – per Dr. Mortimer]]
At City of Hope, we are dedicated to developing new breast cancer therapies to help you live longer, and enhance your quality of life. We offer access to a wide variety of clinical trials not always available to the general public. Our latest research covers new chemotherapy drugs, innovative hormone therapies, innovative surgical techniques and new radiation approaches.
Browse through some of our exciting research projects.
Already a leader in supportive care of cancer patients, City of Hope has a new program called “Return to Wellness,” designed to tackle that big “What now?” question one topic at a time.
City of Hope experts lead workshops in nutrition, health monitoring, long-term side effect management, body image, sexuality and intimacy, lymphedema prevention, meditation, spirituality, and more. Survivors also participate in weekly strength training, restorative yoga and support group sessions.
“Return to Wellness” is a collaboration with the Cancer Support Community of Pasadena. The program is open to women who have completed treatment for breast cancer. Survivors need not be City of Hope patients to participate.
Please call 626-218-CARE (2273) or email [email protected] for more information.
City of Hope experts cover prevention, screening, treatment and other breast cancer topics on City of Hope’s Breakthrough’s blog.